IT Carlow President Dr Patricia Mulcahy has revealed her ‘surprise and disappointment’ with WIT’s decision to suspend discussions over the potential merger of both Institutes of Technology.
Speaking at a conferral ceremony in ITC on Thursday last, Dr Mulcahy said a multi-campus Technological University (TU) of the South East remained her “top priority” and had the potential to “transform the south east region in the coming decades”.
At the conferral, which was also attended by Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan, Dr Mulcahy said she felt the creation of a TU would “enable us to make a quantum leap in higher education provision, regionally and nationally”.
The IT Carlow President welcomed last week’s intervention into the process by Minister O’Sullivan, stating: “The Minister has been unflinching in her support for this TU endeavour. We have also been tremendously encouraged by the numerous statements of support from students and staff, business and other sectors, including Government Ministers, TDs, the Department of Education and Skills and the HEA.”
This sentiment was echoed by the Chairman of IT Carlow’s Governing Body, Mr John Moore.
“We should create a new Technological University that will attract the best, smartest, most creative minds. We expect that this Technological University will continually adapt and change to meet the challenges of the future.”
Dr Mulcahy had been working closely with WIT President Dr Ruairi Neavyn, to the point where a draft agreement regarding the potential merger had been signed.
Disquiet among TUI members has not been exclusive to WIT either, with lecturers in Carlow concerned that their local autonomy would be effectively subsumed as part of a merged entity.